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Snohomish County Parks Board Approves Wellington Athletic Complex Plan

The board approved the Wellington athletic complex master plan with a vote of 9 to 1 after hearing public comments by Woodinville neighbors who are against the project.

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The Snohomish County Parks Advisory Board on Tuesday approved a master plan to replace the former Wellington Hills Golf & Country Club with a regional sports complex, according to the board's meeting minutes.

The Parks Board passed the motion with a vote of 9 to 1 after hearing public comment by Woodinville neighbors who are against the proposed Wellington Hills County Park Master Plan.

Parks Board member Tom King told a large audience at the meeting that approval by the Parks Board is just the first step in the process. The plan still needs to be approved and reviewed through the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process, which is estimated to take until approximately mid-February 2013. After that, the plan will go before the Snohomish County Council for final approval.

In addition, there will be more opportunities to comment and appeal before the plan is finalized and sent to council for final approval, according to the board.

Woodinville resident Todd Bailey, representing Neighbors to Save Wellington Park, commented at the meeting that one of the group's concerns is that the plan calls for commercial development in a rural neighborhood. According to board meeting minutes, Bailey further said:

"This was not part of the County Park Comp plan in 2007. We were not contacted re input as to amenities & features of the property. We are asking you to downsize. Concerns re traffic and safety. Property value is projected to decline by experts. Suggested operating hours of the park will leave only 8 hours for sleeping."

Snohomish County officials released a revised concept design in mid-October for the 100-acre area at 7026 240th St. SE. The design shows seven activity fields (four with synthetic material) a community center, two playgrounds and picnic shelters. There is a large parking area, maintenance building and an area for storage.

Plans also call for a mountain bike facility, two dog parks, picnic tables, community open space and a parking area.

More plan information is available on the Snohomish County website.

Earlier this year Snohomish County bought the Wellington Golf Course site from the University of Washington with $9.7 million of $70 million in Brightwater sewage treatment plant mitigation funds agreed to by King and Snohomish Counties. 

Part of the negotiations and settlement agreement conducted in 2003 mandated the acquisition of a property within a four-mile radius from Brightwater for recreational facilities or improvements, community resource center, public safety improvement, habitat mitigation.

Neighbors in King and Snohomish Counties first heard of the Snohomish County Parks Department proposals for the golf course in a public meeting earlier this year.

Related Stories:

Snohomish County Reveals Revised Plans for Former Wellington Hills Golf Course

Woodinville Group Formed to Save Wellington Park

Wellington Golf Course Closes – For Good

Wellington Golf Public Hearing on Proposed Park

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